Violence and Injury Prevention

5th Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting: "Joining forces, empowering prevention"

Date: 6-7 September 2011
Place: Cape Town, South Africa

The 5th Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting was held at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The meeting was hosted by WHO, the Ministry of Health of South Africa, and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, with financial support from the latter, the California Wellness Foundation, and the Foundation Open Society Institute.

Under the theme "Joining forces, empowering prevention" almost 300 experts from more than 60 countries discussed progress in WHO´s Global Campaign for Violence Prevention and strategized the way ahead by:

  • Presenting new evidence on effective interventions to prevent interpersonal violence in low- middle- and high-income countries;
  • Highlighting the need for joint programming to address underlying risk factors for different forms of violence;
  • Proposing ways to increase collaboration between different sectors, including health, social protection, and criminal justice;
  • Agreeing on the need to focus on a small set of policy, legal and programme delivery targets at national level;
  • Supporting the development of a global status report on violence prevention.

Keynote addresses by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health of South Africa, and Ms Helen Zille, Premier of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, focused on violence prevention efforts in South Africa, including concerted drives to reduce access to and misuse of alcohol, a leading risk factor for all forms of interpersonal violence.

Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, presented on the status of violence prevention globally, and the achievements, obstacles and opportunities for the future. Plenary sessions included state-of-the-science reviews on the prevention of child maltreatment, intimate partner and sexual violence, and youth violence; explorations of the role of civil society in advancing violence prevention; and an overview of major international initiatives to strengthen violence prevention capacities.

The meeting attracted several satellite meetings, including an international symposium on methodological and ethical issues in the international epidemiology of child sexual abuse, supported by the UBS Optimus Foundation; a meeting on violence prevention and policing supported by the Open Society Institute, and the first conference of the newly-launched University of Cape Town's Safety and Violence Initiative.